I have a very small quibble with Thomas Lifson….

This morning, at the American Thinker blog, Thomas Lifson posted an article saying that the National Enquirer is asserting that Michelle Obama came up with the idea to attack Ann Romney on the ground that she was a stay-at-home Mom.  Thomas Lifson says that this report is credible, given Michelle’s frequently expressed anger at having to struggle by as a working Mom on a mere $300,000 a year.  I agree with Thomas.

I part ways with Thomas, however, when it comes to this sentence (emphasis mine):

The National Enquirer, which was the only publication with the gumption to break media blockade around the story of John Edwards’ love child, has an exclusive story citing insider sources that it was Michelle Obama who was the brains behind the exploding cigar of a plan to attack Ann Romney:

Michelle Obama was “the brains”?  Au contraire, mon ami.  There were no brains whatsoever involved in this “living inside the bubble attack,” one that managed to offend a sizable portion of American women across the political spectrum.  Whatever part of her anatomy Michelle brought to bear on this one, it wasn’t her little gray cells.

The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left

I’ve been thinking (and if those aren’t ominous words, I don’t know what are).  I’ve been thinking about the Left’s attack on stay-at-home Mom’s, an attack that Hilary Rosen started, and that others have continued.  To refresh your recollection, let’s start with Rosen, who says that Ann Romney “has actually never worked a day in her life”:

While Rosen made a “fulsome” (i.e., offensive, disgusting, and insincere) apology, others doubled down on her behalf.  NOW President Terry O’Neill carefully explained that, if you don’t get paid for your work, it doesn’t count — which is precisely what my liberal Facebook friends have been saying, in an eerie echo of 1960s’ male chauvinist pigs.

The doubling down continued when Judith Warner, who writes for TIME Magazine, agrees that Ann Romney is “out of touch” with most women.  You see, Ann Romney comes from an intact family where the man is the primary breadwinner.  What could be more appallingly regressive than that?

And then, of course, there’s just the ordinary bottom feeder obscene ugliness than routinely emanates from the Left.  This kind of verbal violence is the Leftist equivalent of the old dictum that, if you have the law, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; and if you have neither facts nor law, pound the table.  If you’re a Leftist, you “pound the table” by calling women the most obscene names possible and threaten them with violence.

That’s the cursory rundown.  Now back to “I’ve been thinking….”  This is not just a war of tired old feminists who are trying to justify the fact that most of them paid illegal, undereducated women, many of whom speak little or no English, to raise their children.  This transcends Leftist feminist sensibilities and touches upon a core issue in statism — namely, who raises the children?

A small, but relevant, digression here:  One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read is Joshua Muravchik’s Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. The title is self-explanatory.  I highly recommend the book, simply because it’s so good, but I mention it here because of the chapter involving Israeli kibbutzim, which were intended to represent the purest form of voluntary socialism.  Part of the socialist experiment was that children would be raised, not within family units, but as part of the cooperative.  Only in that way could the kibbutz defeat unhealthy, selfish individualism and assure a new generation of people dedicated to the movement.

Except that’s not what happened.  Some moms were very happy to allow the collective to raise the children.  However, it turned out that the majority of moms, once those mom-hormones started roaring through their bodies, didn’t want their children whisked off to the collective nursery, no matter how nice a place it was.  They’d bonded with their babies, and they wanted to nurture those babies.  The kibbutzim were quickly forced to reconfigure to allow for single family homes.  Had they not done so, they would have lost too many families.

And now, back to the main point….

For the last many years, I have been the single most important influence on my children.  Yes, they go to school (public school, yet); and yes, they both have thriving social lives; and yes, I’ve been unable to insulate them from a Leftist pop culture that is hostile to traditional norms and to conservatives generally, but I’m still the most important person.  Of all the influences in their lives, I am the one who is most present, most consistent, and most trusted.  I’m sure they’ll pull away as they get older, and they may even rebel, but I’ll still be that little voice in their brain, imparting facts, values, and analyses.

I am the counterweight to the state.  Therefore, I am dangerous.  I am subversive simply by existing.  My love for my children is a dominant force that works its way into their psyches and that trumps the state-run schools and the state complicit media world.  Some mothers, of course, are entirely in sync with schools and media.  They happily reinforce the statist message.  But those of us who don’t are a powerful anti-statist force and we must be challenged.

The Left’s problem with Ann Romney transcends her husband’s wealth, her (and his) Republican identification, and her decision to work for her children, rather than for a paying employer.  The Left’s problem with Ann Romney is that she represents the triumph of the individual.  No wonder they hate her so much.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Instapundit and PowerLine readers.  I’m going to go all Beverly Hillbillies and say “Y’all come back now.”  And welcome to you, too, Hot Air readers.  Y’all should also come back now!

Feminism in a nutshell

Sometimes a post just nails things at every level and explains so much.  That’s the case with a Front Page Magazine article about feminism and Marxism.  I especially loved this:

Phyllis Schlafly​, who has spent a lifetime pointing out liberal hypocrisy on issues of gender, says that it’s no wonder liberal women think men are pigs: Their men are pigs.

Well, yes, absolutely.  There are no greater sexists than liberal men who pay lip service to women’s equality because they’ve figured out that it’s an easy way to get extra labor and easy sex.  At a very fundamental level, too many liberal men don’t seem to like women very much or to respect them at all.

Years ago, when I first started blogging, I commented on the fact that conservative men, especially Christian conservative men, genuinely seem to like their wives.  That struck me as odd, because it’s not something I see moving in liberal circles.  Sure there are love matches around me but, for the most part, the men and women in my world resent each other more than they respect each other.  Even if the conservative men are lying about their feelings towards their wives, at least they subscribe to the notion that you ought to love and respect your spouse.  Liberals no longer seem to make the effort.

I think a lot of it has to do with competitive martyrdom.  When the man in a marriage served his wife by making money, and the wife in a marriage served her husband by having children and keeping the house, they weren’t competing.  Instead, they were both contributing.  Even in my parents’ marriage, when my mother had to work because there was no money, my Dad felt terrible that she had to make the sacrifice.  He deeply appreciated the work she did on the family’s behalf and therefore helped out around the house as much as possible to offset the fact that he wasn’t earning enough so that she could play her role and only her role in the marriage.

In modern liberal marriages, though, both partners are expected to bring in money.  This works right up until the children come along.  Then, the woman’s at-home workload skyrockets exponentially.  The men, contrary to their feminist mouthings, do not help out as much.  Aside from the fact that the children want Mommy, the men aren’t going to cook or do laundry or do anything but the basics.  (I know exceptions, but this is the rule in my world.)  The women become terribly resentful that, suddenly, they have two full time jobs.  After terrible fights, the women cut back on work or quit it entirely — at which time the men become terribly resentful that they have to go into the office, while the women get to lollygag around the house with the children.  Of course, both parties have hard jobs, but neither can admit that, for fear of falling into a one-down position in the martyrdom competition.  This is not a recipe for happy relationships.

Weiner did a bad thing and being pro-abortion doesn’t give him a pass

A few months ago a movie came out based on a premise that was, for me, an entirely new concept:  a Hall Pass or, license from ones spouse to have sex, once, outside of marriage.  (I understand that the movie, which I didn’t see, ultimately made the point that having an affair isn’t as easy or attractive as it seems.)

I thought of that movie when I read Amanda Marcotte’s outraged article about coverage of the wanking Weiner.  Unlike Kirsten Powers, who was mad at Weiner for lying to everyone and making a fool of her, and who figured out that Weiner is a sexual predator, not a ladies’ man, Marcotte is furious at the media for being interested in Weiner’s dangerous and predatory sexual predilections.

There are two things deeply wrong with Marcotte’s article.  The first is her claim that the media investigated Weiner’s sex life.  After castigating Weiner for “stupidity” and Breitbart for “sleaziness” — and I’m so naive that I thought Weiner, who sent x-rated pictures of himself to strangers, was the sleazy one — Marcotte zeroes in on the true source of her rage:

This scandal may represent the end of the presumption of sexual privacy for politicians, and possibly even for journalists, activists, and bureaucrats—anyone whose public humiliation could benefit the ideologues wed to the politics of personal destruction.

What she seems to forget is that Weiner’s stupidity encompassed more than making his privates public.  It was he who started the hounds on his trail when he tweeted to all umpteen thousand of his followers a picture of his semi-public privates, outlined showily against his undies.  (Shades of Gary Hart, although Marcotte may be too young to remember the red flag that Hart waved before the media bull.)

Even after that first careless act, had Weiner immediately done his groveling mea culpas (think of Hugh Grant, who did a masterful public self-abasement after being caught with a prostitute), he could have gotten away with the thing with the damage limited to a whole lot of embarrassment.  (At this point, you’re supposed to think of Barney Frank, who was forgiven the gay prostitution ring being run out of his home.)

Instead, Weiner upped the ante by accusing Breitbart of the federal crime of hacking his account, accusing the entire conservative political movement in the United States of hacking into his account, coaching porn stars to lie on his behalf, insulting members of the media (“jackass”), and generally lying through his teeth.  That goes beyond “stupid” into sociopathic.

Bottom line:  Marcotte’s fundamental premise is wrongheaded.  This wasn’t about the media hunting for information about Weiner’s sex life, although Weiner’s foolish sexual behavior was the starting point.  The frenzy was all about the other stuff, the carelessness, the personal malevolence, the lying, and the manipulation.  When it comes to someone in political office, each of those qualities is entirely newsworthy because voters are handing their little piece of the country over to this person.

Working off of that factually and morally wrong foundation, Marcotte ups the ante on her stupidity.  She seems to claim that, because Weiner is pro-abortion and pro-gay, he has a hall pass when it comes to sordid sexual shenanigans:

Prior to this scandal, the media and political operatives had to at least pretend that a politician’s sex life had some bearing on the public interest before they picked up the pitchforks.  Being an adulterer wasn’t, in and of itself, a matter of public interest. There had to be a hook. If you were a social conservative who advocated for using the government to control the sexual behavior of consenting adults, for instance, then you were held to your own standard and your adulteries were considered public business. If you opposed gay rights, your own history of same-sex relations was fair game. If you broke an anti-prostitution law you vigorously enforced on others, like Eliot Spitzer, you had no reasonable expectation of privacy. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a long past of being accused of sexual harassment, so the state of the marriage he used as a shield matters. Even at the height of the national panic over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Clinton’s detractors claimed that it wasn’t the sex that was the issue, but the perjury. No one believed them, of course, but the claim at least paid tribute to the idea that the private sexual choices of those who support sexual privacy are not the public’s business.

But with this Weiner scandal, there’s not even the veneer of an excuse in play. Weiner has an outstanding record supporting sexual rights of others, with100% ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood,and has a strong record of support for gay rights. No laws seem to have been broken, no public trust compromised, no campaign irregularities indicated, and there’s been no suggestion that his flirtations interfered with his ability to do his job. The entire rationale for the scandal is that Weiner isn’t living in accordance with strict social mores regarding monogamy, and that’s it. Even the whining about how he lied when initially confronted is hollow. In the past, lying when someone asks nosy questions that are none of their business was considered a socially acceptable white lie. (And really, who among us would be a paragon of transparency with Wolf Blitzer waving a penis picture in our face and saying, “Is this yours?”) The pretense that it has to matter to the public in order for the public to get involved has been dropped.

Color me stupid, but I’m pretty sure Marcotte is saying that, because Weiner is the feminist’s delight politically, he gets a free pass when it comes to tweeting his crotch shot to the world, lying, slandering, manipulating and, oh, yes!, let’s not forget, preying on women and demeaning and humiliating his wife.

I can just see it now:

Wife:  I can’t believe you had sex with that . . . that slut!  And then you tweeted it to all your friends.  God, I hope that at least you used a condom.  And then to lie about it.  You lied to everyone, and you even got your brother to stand up for you when that tweet first went out.  I’m so humiliated.  I thought you took our marriage vows seriously.  And what about the children?  What’s little Johnny going to say to his friend?  I don’t know how little Tina is going to hold her head up.

Husband:  But Honey!  I gave money to NARAL and Planned Parenthood.  And have you forgotten how how we went together to campaign against Prop. 8 in California?

Wife:  You’re right, Lover.  I totally forgot.  You really are a good man who cares about gays and women.  You earned that hall pass.  [Making kissy face sounds.]

Fade out as they walk off to the bedroom, hand in hand.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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UN Commission on the Status of Women

Everyone is commenting on the travesty that sees countries such as the Sudan and Iran on the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  It makes perfect sense to me.  If the commission had been named “Commission for the Protection of Women,” or “Commission for the Liberation of Women,” things might have been different, but but it’s obvious that the Sudan and Iran are perfectly clear about women’s “status”:  per Allah’s inviolable decree, they are at the bottom of the pecking order and need to remain there.  At long last, these nations sit on the perfect bureaucratic vehicle for pursuing their “feminist” agenda.

Stuff

Just two posts I really wanted to bring to your attention, written by two bloggers whose intelligence and good sense I admire:

First, Elizabeth Scalia (the Anchoress), with a lovely, polite savagery, gives NOW the pounding it deserves.

Second, Bruce Kesler reports on a speech that Barry Rubin gave (Rubin blogs here, by the way), and it should make you feel much better if you’re a friend of Israel.  (BTW, good news doesn’t mean that the friends of Israel can relax.  Rupert Murdoch compellingly spells out what Israel faces, not on the ground in the Middle East, but around the world.)

Everything you needed to know about the Dems, run through the Kagan filter

Kim Priestap, who blogs at Up North Mommy, got an impassioned email from the Democratic Party, raving about Elena Kagan.  Does it rave about her brains?  No (although it mentions as an aside that she’s “among the best legal minds this country has to offer,” which is a depressing comment about legal minds in America).  Her legal expertise?  No.  Her judicial experience?  No (because there is none, no matter how one puffs up her limited management experience and some government work).  Her looks?  No, no and no.

Instead, the email is very clear about Kagan’s single most important virtue, along with a little subsidiary fillip to add to the Progressive excitement:  She’s a woman and, even better, she’s almost black because she once worked for a black man.

Read the following and tell me if the whole point of the Democratic euphoria isn’t that, after being the first female Harvard Law School dean, and the first female Solicitor General, she’s poised to become the third female Supreme Court justice sitting on the court, and one who is black by association, thereby raising both the female and black liberal quota on the Supreme Court:

Have you been watching the hearings? The nomination of a Supreme Court justice is a special time in Washington, DC. The air tastes different — it buzzes with an electricity even the humidity can’t conquer — and even more so this time.

Elena Kagan’s nomination is special. It took us almost 200 years as a country to get the first woman on the Supreme Court, but now we’re on a roll! If Elena Kagan is confirmed, for the first time, we’ll have three women serving together. We’re still a far cry from parity, but we cannot allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good. We’re making progress, and Elena Kagan is great progress.

Over the past three days of hearings, she has conducted herself with poise, grace, rigor, and humor. She has won praise from liberals and conservatives — prior to her nomination and since. It’s no easy feat to become the first female dean of Harvard Law School and the first female to serve as solicitor general. Her illustrious resume also includes periods as associate White House counsel and deputy policy director under President Bill Clinton, as a teacher at the University of Chicago Law School, and as a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Lend your name to help us show that the American people back Elena Kagan’s nomination.

Let there be no doubt: She earned this nomination. It’s not simply because she’s a woman, or because she’s among the best legal minds this country has to offer. I know firsthand the strength of Elena’s character and am certain she is the best choice.

The Supreme Court nomination process, like almost any political contest, is like a food fight where the nominee does his or her best to stay clean and dry while everyone else in the room slings Sloppy Joes. I’ve watched this before (recently) and there’s nothing the Republicans won’t do to take down a nominee chosen by a president they’ve vowed to obstruct at all costs.

Republicans are attacking her credibility, her credentials, and her character. They’ve become particularly focused on her work as a clerk for Justice Marshall, seemingly maligning his long and respected service to our country. As chief counsel to the NAACP, Justice Marshall argued the case of Brown v Board of Education. Later he would become the first African American to serve as solicitor general and the first African American to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court. We would be better off with more justices like Marshall, and Kagan’s work for him should be a feather in her cap, not a thorn in her side right now.

The other side is grabbing at straws, with nothing to support their groundless accusations, but it doesn’t stop the attacks. The Democratic Party is pushing back to ensure that this incredible woman gets a fair hearing, but we must also show that public support for Kagan is overwhelming.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony are rolling in their graves.  I think Martin Luther King is also starting to wiggle around in there.  This is not what they envisioned when they campaigned for equal rights for women, or demanded that people be measured, not by the color of their skin or bra size, but by the content of their character.  These trailblazers wanted women and blacks to enjoy full inalienable, constitutional, and legal rights in America.  For women and minorities to be valued just as numbers on some quota list is heartbreaking and as dehumanizing in its own way as the ancient status quo.

I have nothing more to say.

“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”

If you’re over thirty, you remember the shampoo commercials that had the tag line “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”  If you’ve forgotten, let me refresh your memory:

That slogan started repeating itself in my head with the attacks on Sarah Palin. I won’t repeat here (or link to) the startling savagery of the hatred heaped upon her, but I’ll remind you that it included denying that she was a woman at all, asserting that she was manifestly stupid, and calling her a traitor to her sex.

The same slogan has now moved to the forefront of my brain with the savage attacks on Carrie Prejean.  Believe me, if a less attractive woman had said precisely the same thing that brought Prejean such notoriety, the Left would have sneered and moved on.  It’s the fact that a beautiful woman had the temerity politely to state that she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman that drives the Left into a frenzy of abuse.

The flip side of this deep hatred the Left has for beautiful women with whom it disagrees is it’s fanatic desire to convince Americans (nay, the world) that its female political icons are beautiful.  Bloggers are starting to take notice of the fact that those on the Left, not satisfied with saturating the media with pictures of Mrs. Obama, are now trying to elevate her to the pantheon of Goddesses, a woman not merely beautiful, but one whose beauty makes her an amalgam of Mother Earth and Venus.  The latest to advance this notion is the always reliably silly Sally Quinn, who waxes lyrical about Michelle’s arms:

Michelle Obama’s arms, we determined, were transformational. Her arms are representative of a new kind of woman: young, strong, vigorous, intelligent, accomplished, sexual, powerful, embracing and, most of all, loving.

Today is Mother’s Day. Today we should celebrate Michelle Obama’s arms as the arms of a mother.

This is a woman who has the courage to say “I am mom in chief” and make her children and her family — unapologetically — her No. 1 priority. She is able to do this because she is so intelligent and accomplished that she doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. She is healthy enough to be able to say, this is who I am, these are my values and my priorities.

Reading stuff like that (and it goes on and on and on, far beyond what I just quoted), I’m beginning to think there is some virtue to the Roman idea of a vomitorium.  I could use one right now.

Just so we’re clear here: The Left verbally brutalized a truly beautiful woman who had reached one of the highest echelons of American politics by denying her any claim even to being female.  Now, it engages in hagiography by taking an ordinary woman who abandoned her career to support her husband and celebrating her old-fashioned role as mom.  As you know, I have no problem with the old-fashioned role of Mom, but the Left certainly has had that problem — except when it came to Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Obama.

As for me, when I see Michelle Obama, I think two things:  nice enough and, when her face is in repose, angry.  It’s the latter that makes her the perfect poster child for the Left, but they can’t admit that.  It would be impossible for them to elevate her to their pantheon as some sort of vengeful warrior goddess.  Instead, she must be objectified as the personification of all female virtues.  They don’t have to worry that you’ll hate Michelle because she’s beautiful — she isn’t.  But they’re going to force you to love her because she’s a Leftist female without hair in her pits.

(By the way, check out Ann Coulter talking about attacks on Prejean.)

PC strikes again, weakening the British military

When my mother was liberated from concentation camp in Indonesia at the end of WWII, she found herself facing another threat:  the native Indonesians were rising up against the colonial Dutch.  For them, killing the sick, starved Dutch ex-POWs, all still clustered in the camps pending repatriation, was like shooting fish in a barrel.  Relief came in the form of the Gurkhas.  My mom still remembers these fearless fighters hiding in bug/reptile infested ditches outside the camps, armed (literally) to the teeth with knives and other weapons.  Within days, the Indonesian attacks against those pathetic ex-prisoners stopped.

Don’t expect the Gurkhas to be able to help out much longer, though.  PC has struck the Gurkhas and the British government, as a preemptive strike, has demanded that Gurkha women be allowed to join the regiments, despite the fact that they cannot meet the standards:

Junior defence minister Derek Twigg revealed last year that the Army would recruit female Gurkhas from 2009, but gave no details.

[snip]

Half the Army’s 3,400 Gurkhas are infantry soldiers in the Royal Gurkha Rifles, and half serve in specialist Gurkha ‘corps’ units providing engineering, logistics, signals and medical support.

Unlike the rest of the Army, every Gurkha undergoes full infantry combat training.

As a result, if infantry are in short supply in the field, a Gurkha engineering or signals unit can pick up their rifles and join in an attack.

The flexibility it offers is hugely prized by the Army, already facing a serious shortage of infantry.

[snip]

The problem is it is illegal to recruit and train men and women differently to do the same job.

[snip]

Putting female Gurkhas through gruelling infantry training will leave them more at risk of injury and failure, it is feared, and liable to sue the Army for sex discrimination. [How are they being discriminated against if they're being trained in the same way as men? Rhetorical question. Don't bother to answer that in the Bizarro-land of sexual politics the only way to avoid discrimination is to treat women as -- and the Victorians would love this -- the weaker sex.]

In a trial in Nepal last year no women passed the current tests.

On a slightly related topic, I have a question for you.  As I’ve always understood it, military guys wear buzz cuts because (a) it helps hygiene, especially in combat or near-combat situations and (b) it means that you don’t have a handle that a bad guy can grab.  If short hair serves a practical purpose, why aren’t military women required to shave their heads too?  I think they should be.

Where’s NOW now?

American feminists, who have done quite a number on Palin, are remarkably silent about the mind-boggling restrictions placed upon, and indignities visited upon, their sisters in Saudi Arabia:

A new prohibition may be added to the long list of those placed on women in Saudi Arabia: A new sentence according to Islamic law (fatwa) determines that women exiting the doorways of their homes must cover one of their eyes.

The array of prohibitions currently placed upon Saudi women includes forbiddance to leave home without a familial “patron,” fraternize with men in public, drive a car, put makeup on and wear high heels.

The modesty squad on the streets of Saudi Arabia follows women whose abaya (long cloak) is too tight and likely to reveal their curves or those whose hair is visible through their veils.

A senior religious cleric in the country, Sheikh Muhammad al-Habadan demands that the rules of modesty be further enhanced.

In the new Islamic legal sentence, al-Habadan announced that when leaving their homes, women must keep only one eye revealed.

According to the sheikh, “revelation of both eyes behind the veil is likely to encourage women to put make-up on and accentuate their eyes. This is corrupt behavior which conflicts with Islamic principles.”

Read the rest here.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: A prescient friend of mine told me before 9/11 that the Muslim hatred of the Western world is grounded in the fear Muslim men have of female sexuality. Everything else — alcohol prohibitions, dog prohibitions, etc. — is just static. In apocalyptic fight between Islam and the West, it’s all about sex.  And in that regard, keep in mind that the incentive for Muslim men to commit suicide/mass murder is, yes, sex with those 70 luscious virgins (or, possibly, which will be a surprise to them, grapes).

Rhetoric versus reality

One of the things that’s been playing through my head lately is the distance between the liberal worldview and actual reality.  The media arguments directed at Palin, especially those that deal with women’s issues, really highlighted that divide for me.

Let’s begin with the way in which liberals distinguish themselves from conservativeds, something David Smithee examines in Palin and the Left’s Comprehension Gap.  The title is self-explanatory.  Smithee explains that part of the hubris that characterizes the Left is the fact that it is unable to take a clear look at conservatives.  It sets up easily defeated straw men, without ever really touching upon true conservatism, a mistake the conservatives tend not to make:

But we also know that when liberals look at conservatives, no such courtesy or openness of mind is extended. They don’t see considered issues, critical thought, or the faintest possibility of reason. They see white trash men waving bibles at teen brides, while a gaggle of kids groom each other for lice on a cracked linoleum floor. ‘Bitter clingers’ who mindlessly adhere to second-amendment rights so they can shoot baby possum off a tin fence on slow Friday nights. The other sort of conservative invariably invokes 19th century robber barons, plutocrat industrialists swollen with loot plundered from the proletariat, abating their whipping of Dickensian child labor just long enough to polish a monocle.

The flip side of this hysterical denigration is the liberals’ own self-aggrandizement.  If conservatives are people who crawl in the dirt, alternately praying to God and picking lice, liberals, by obvious corollary, are higher beings, with vast intelligence and delicately refined sensibilities.

Certainly that’s how I always understand myself as a Democrat:  I was better educated, more refined, and better traveled than my conservative counterparts.  Therefore, any conclusions I drew, values I had, and opinions I held must be better too.  Never mind that there are large numbers of educated, refined, and well traveled conservatives, and never mind that conservative conclusions, values and opinions actually operate with more efficiency and humanity in the real world (as opposed to the theoretical one).  It was enough that I knew I was better than they were.

For a long time, because they own the MSM, Lefties have been able to sell the American public on their “we’re better than you are, so just shut up and follow our lead” meme.  What’s so wonderful about the Palin candidacy is less what it says about conservatives, who really haven’t changed, and more what it says about liberals, who are casting off their loving sheep mantels and showing the wolfish reality behind the rhetoric.  It’s not pretty.

The “feminist” attacks on Palin are the ugliest thing of all, of course.  They reveal that “feminism” has absolutely nothing to do with enabling women to live as fully realized citizens in the United States of America, able to strive for all the opportunities this great country makes available to its citizens.  (Or, alternatively, opting to take advantage of the opportunity to be an old-fashioned wife and mother, which is just another right of citizenship in America.)

Instead, feminism has almost nothing to do with paving the way for full and equal citizenship for women, and everything to do with bowing before the Leftist political line.  Politically-aware conservatives have long known this.  The attacks on Palin allow others to see it.  (For more on this topic, I recommend Jonah Goldberg’s column, which spells out what’s going on with these current anti-Palin attacks, and Christina Hoff-Sommer’s wonderful Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women, which was published in 1995, but is as fresh today as the day it was written.)

When it comes to women, Obama is just as guilty of putting distance between himself and his high flown rhetoric.  Despite the fact that equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land since 1964, Obama has shrilly demanded he be elected because, he assures us, under his tender loving care American will finally see the realization of the historic goal  of “equal pay for equal worth.”  Let’s ignore the fact that his muddled rhetoric really seems to be aiming at the nightmare of “comparable worth” pay, which seeks to have some Leftist college professor assign an abstract value to women dominated jobs, to make them line up nice will men dominated jobs.  The Hell with the market.  Let the government and the professors assign wages.  It worked in the Soviet Union, right?

But as I said, let’s ignore that.  Instead, let’s focus on Obama’s own reality.  It’s obvious that, if he’s saying those things he must mean them, right?  Right? I’m sorry to say that the answer is “wrong.”  As Deroy Murdock explains, a non-partisan group that presents data about the wages American senators pay their staff reveals Obama’s ugly little secret:  the women who work for him have lower level positions and lower wages.  Strikingly, McCain’s staff has women holding the higher level positions and receiving higher wages.

Keeping on the subject of women, it turns out that the whole “pro-Choice” theme constantly sounded by Leftists since 1973 is also more rhetoric than reality.  For 30 plus years, Americans have been told that the Left isn’t pro-Abortion, it’s pro-Choice (with the corollary being that the conservatives are anti-Choice).  It turns out that this too was also more rhetoric than reality.  I already quoted the following yesterday, but I’m going to quote it again today — “it” being James Taranto’s analysis of three of the more horrible attacks against Sarah Palin for her decision to have baby Trig:

This is worse than tasteless or even unhinged. It is depraved. It represents an inversion of any reasonable conception of right and wrong, including liberal conceptions.

Fowler uses Palin’s motherhood to disparage her accomplishments, an obvious betrayal of the principle of women’s equality. And although proponents of permissive abortion laws nearly always claim to support not abortion but “a woman’s right to choose,” here we have three of them rebuking Palin for choosing not to abort her baby.

Sullivan and Wilson go further, ascribing evil intent to an act of maternal love. To Sullivan, Palin’s decision to carry her child to term is a salvo in a “culture war”–that is, an act of aggression against those with different political views. (That, at least, is how he sees it for the purpose of this post. In an earlier one, he praised her for going through “eight months of pregnancy and a painful, difficult, endless labor for a cause she believes in”–which, although considerably less obnoxious, still depicts the decision as a political rather than a personal one.)

To Wilson, Palin’s adherence to her own principles about the sanctity of life is an act of neglect toward her children–proof “that her most beloved child is the antiabortion platform.” Never mind that the alternative would have ensured that one of her actual children did not live.

Since I’ve kept these examples of the vast gulf between Leftist rhetoric and Leftist reality in the realm of women’s issues, I’m going to close with another example that arises, not at the political level, but at the personal level — and that appears in a book that, like Hoff-Sommer’s book, was originally published in the 1990s (and republished in 2003).  The book is called The Second Shift, and it focuses on the fact that the average working woman work harder than her average husband, since the woman, on average, layers housework and childcare on top of her paid job.

I don’t think most women will find this conclusion all that exciting.  What the writer did find — at least in the 1990s edition of the book, which is the edition I read — is a fascinating divide between older, traditional men and younger, more liberated men.  The older men resented bitterly that their wives had to work, believing women should take care of the home and children.  The younger men thought it was wonderful that the women contributed to the family wealth and said that, of course, they (the men) would help in the home.  One would think, therefore, that the women in traditional households would be buried under double loads of work, while the women in progressive households would have an equal partner.  The opposite was true.

It turned out that the conservative men actually valued what the women did in the home, and helped a great deal.  (And indeed, my father exemplified this attitude when my mom was forced to take a job.)  The progressive, modern men paid lip service but, in fact, did almost nothing.  They’d say things such as “We’ve divided it in half.  I do the outdoor work, she does the indoor work.”  It sounded good, but the reality was that the outdoor work consisted of taking out the garbage and mowing the lawn once a week, while the indoor work meant shopping, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and taking care of the kids, all on a daily basis.  There was a complete divergence between rhetoric and reality in the progressive households and it did not redound to the women’s benefit.

I leave you to find other examples of the divide between Leftist words and Leftist reality.  While Leftists blindly castigate the conservative straw men they’ve created, they remain curiously unmoved by the vast divide between their perfect intellectual world and their own acts.  However, because of Palin, ordinary Americans are getting a glimpe of this divide, and they might not like what they see.  If for this reason alone, therefore, the Palin nomination was a blessing for America.

Embittered women

In the past couple of days, I’ve read more than a few articles in which liberal women express incendiary anger about Sarah Palin. I blogged yesterday about Michelle Cottle’s screed, and today read equally over-the-top material from Judith Warner (h/t The Anchoress) and Heather Malick (h/t Small Dead Animals).  In each of these articles, women complain that those who play by feminism’s rules are kicked in the teeth and that Quislings like Sarah Palin get rewarded with perks and praise.  Never mind that their feminine ideal, Hillary, got ahead the old-fashioned way, by marriage.  It was her rhetoric, not her conduct, that appealed.

I find the attitude these women express interesting, because I understand it so well.  When I worked at my first law firm, I was a horrible employee because I had all these ideas that, as a woman who paid full (and sincere) lip service to feminism’s principles, I was entitled to special treatment.  I couldn’t understand why the men who started the same year as I did were treated better and liked more — overlooking completely the fact that they worked harder, complained less, and contributed more.  I was a woman!  Didn’t “they” understand that?

Incidentally, I didn’t arrive at this self-serving, egotistical hubristic attitude on my own.  My year was the year the law firm decided to embrace diversity and hired a large group of whiny women, African-Americans and gays.*  We knew we were affirmative action hires but, instead of being grateful, we felt we were owed more than just a job.  We expected to be coddled and given opportunities notwithstanding our failure to earn them.

As the years went by, we were horrified by how obvious it was that the firm powers didn’t like us.  It never occurred to us that we were neither likable nor beneficial to the firm’s business.  Eventually, I jumped ship for a different firm where, with a clean slate, I started to learn to be a lawyer and not a feminist.  The rest of the malcontents with whom I’d worked were all fired summarily a short time later as part of a — ahem — “cost cutting” move.

Reading the articles to which I’ve linked, it’s apparent that many American women still live in the “you owe me” bubble.  Worse, since they seldom get what they feel they’re owed, they find themselves embittered — and, sadly, without even having the countervailing consolation of guns and God.

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*This is not to imply that women, gays and African-Americans are whiny.  It is to say that this particular group of women, gays and African-Americans, all of whom believed they were entitled to special treatment because of their non-white male status, were in fact whiny.